It’s a strange world. A consumer and material world of sorts where we can not only design our homes, but also design our babies as well. We can easily take a holiday to an exotic country, experience a new culture and a new land. We can relax, and we can experience new adventures, and we can buy quality vibrators that have been specifically designed with women’s ergonomics in mind.. Now, in amongst relaxing and experiencing we can design a vagina. When we think of plastic surgery we think of face lifts, wrinkle free faces and Botox, but surprisingly these procedures are on the lower end of the growth scale. Labiaplasty surgery is one of the fastest growing cosmetic surgery procedures in the world. Almost doubling in the space of a year and being second only to buttock augmentation, colloquially referred to as the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). A Designer Vagina surgery is where a woman will have her labia and genitals surgically altered to adhere to a specific look or request, which is known as Labiaplasty. Recent studies have shown that that over 80% of all vaginal surgeries are for the purpose of reducing the size of, or reshaping the labia.
Labiaplasty is specific type of surgery that is used in order to reduce the size or change the shape of the parts of the vagina which include the labia minora, majora or both. The labia’s are the four different folds of skin tissue that make up the vulva. Labiaplasty is usually done either as a completely separate procedure or to be combined with vaginal surgery.
There are some women out there who have become embarrassed because their larger than expected labia’s are large enough that can be shown through their clothing, resulting in the appearance of a ‘camel toe’. Some women will also experience pain when jogging, exercising, riding bikes and wearing jeans which rub against their labia during such activities and can cause chaffing.
Labia reduction surgery can provide relief from pain and chaffing. Here we will briefly explore some of the other types of surgery that are used for vaginal, clitoral and labia procedures.
There are an increasing number of plastic surgeons whom are currently marketing a procedure in which they remove the tissue cover that normally protects the clitoris. This procedure is usually likened to a female version of circumcision, and in a sense is very much the same kind of procedure. The removal of the clitoral hood is useful for increasing sensitivity and helping with the treatment of anorgasmia. Recently, laser technology has also been introduced into vaginal surgeries to replace the surgeons’ use of traditional metal scalpels.
Now this one is an interesting one. G-spot Amplification is a relatively new surgical procedure which involves the surgeon injecting the patient with collagen to increase her ability to feel pleasure.
In the front wall of the vagina is the clitoral node which is highly sensitive to stimulation. The clitoris is generally considered to be one of the main sources of feminine orgasmic arousal. The collagen injection is placed into this front wall for a more pronounced look and to increase stimulation.
This is a highly controversial procedure. Hymenplasty surgery is the medical term for a surgery whose goal it is to repair and build a broken hymen which has been broken through to trauma or after sexual activity.
Some cultures in the world have exceptionally strong religious beliefs about virginity and its importance within a new relationship. For this reason, the procedure is highly controversial as it is often deemed to be deceptive.
For the most part, these surgeries mentioned above are for cosmetic and aesthetic reasons, though it will be noted that some women require the use of Labiaplasty surgery for medical reasons. In these situations a labia has become abnormally large in the sense that it can cause extreme chaffing and uncomfortable pain through everyday activities. This is extreme cases though, most women will have a folds around the vaginal opening and this is completely normal and there is no reason to panic about something like this. Concernedly, an increasing amount of women are electing to have cosmetic Labiaplasty surgery because they have become aesthetically displeased with the appearance and presentation of their labia. This is despite there being nothing medically wrong with their vagina, and it is classified as normal. Now is this an expression of vanity, or is there something more going on here?
In a story in late 2016, there was an incredibly controversial story where a mother had taken her 15 year old daughter to the GP to discuss the option of Labiaplasty surgery. In this story, the mother was fighting doctors in order to get the surgery because her daughter had an inner labia which protruded past the outer labia. The mother had said comments such as ‘normal women are neater’ and then bizarrely said that “she will never be able to have sex looking like that”. Doctors concluded that there was no medical reason for the daughter to have surgery, and that the surgery was for completely cosmetic reasons. Researchers from the Children’s Bioethics Centre and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne raised the belief that the majority of genital surgery was driven by cosmetic reasoning and not by any underlying medical condition. Further, an audit of the referral letters for Labiaplasty surgery at the royal children’s hospital concluded that over 25% of the cases involved the child’s mother bringing up the idea.
It’s a controversial story for several reasons. Firstly, readers of the story were concerned as to why a mother had been close enough to a teenage daughter to be able to comment on her labia, and secondly, the more important issue involves the mentality of teenagers. Teenagers are going through a rough period of life, they’re questioning their sex and sexuality, questioning their identities and bodies and experiencing a range of insecurities and social anxieties, the least of which should be a comment from one’s own parent unnecessarily criticising the appearance of ones genitals by saying that sexual activity will be out of the question with a look like that. Psychologists are suggesting that the overall theme that we need to address to young people is that intimate relationships are about the quality of a relationship, about being a good and likeable person, the quality of one’s heart and not the quality and appearance of ones genitalia. Teenagers are impressionable as they go through awkward years of transitioning into an adult, and focusing on the appearance of ones genitalia sends a terrible message to youth.
Medical professionals are reporting a surge in the increase of people that are having Labiaplasty surgery. This video quickly explores what a Labiaplasty surgery is.
Researchers are further suggesting that, like the preference for trimming and shaving pubic hair, the rise for the designer vagina stems from the consumption of pornography. Women, will generally not look at variety of women for their understanding of vaginas, what they will look at is magazines, and pornography which depicts an unrealistic expectation of a vagina in much the same capacity that men have in regards to penis size and pornography. The fact is, that like penises, body shapes, and appearances, that there is a huge variation of the idea of normal. Think about it – why do we have such a variety of condoms, penis plugs, and other toys for the penis if they were all the same? They’re not, and the thing to remember is that there is no normal shape and size of the labia. So when there’s situations where a boyfriend has asked that his girlfriend have surgery because he doesn’t like the look of her labia, then the issue is with the boyfriend and his understanding of vaginas, and not necessarily the individual with the vagina.
When it comes to labia size and appearance, culture will play a significant part in determining the ‘normal’ size of a labia. For example, in Japanese culture a larger labia is generally more desired and thought to be appealing whilst in Western Culture a neater and smaller labia is more sought after. So the question then becomes, who or what is driving the shift towards designer vaginas?
Bethany Jones from the Australian National University in Canberra released a study in 2015 that looked at pornography consumption within women and their desire to undergo a Labiaplasty surgery. Over 1000 people completed the survey which was put on Facebook and at the conclusion of the study, whilst there were small correlating links between the consumption of pornography and the desire to somewhat likely, and highly likely, undergo Labiaplasty surgery, the correlation was simply not strong enough to attribute the consumption of pornography to be the strongest indicator of a designer vagina. Indeed the majority of women that participated in the survey indicated that they were quite content with their vaginas.
Despite the survey being listed as a preliminary study, with further studies to follow, there was not the definitive link that was expected from the results of this survey. Ms Jones noted that the pursuing of cosmetic surgery is a very interesting behaviour and that a study should more closely examine such things as individual difference, psychological characteristics and mental health indicators. Primarily, research that has been done on the use of cosmetic surgery has demonstrated that mental health indicators such as depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphic disorder played a significant role in people’s decisions to have cosmetic surgery.
As with any medical procedure there are risks that are associated with Labiaplasty surgery and they include:
- Loss of sensitivity in the vaginal region
- Over cutting the labia
- Under cutting the labia
- Patient not being happy with the end result
- Inability to wear tampons, have sex or partake in exercise for 6 weeks (sometimes longer) following the surgery
- Risks of infection
- Walking, sitting down and normal daily activities can be uncomfortable for a few weeks following the surgery.
- Taking time off of work is necessary to have this surgery
Vaginas are as unique as every other body part that we have, whether that is our body type, our facial shape, hair, and eye colours. There is no normal definition for the shape and appearance and look of a vagina and unless it is causing severe distress or there is an underlying medical issue which needs to be addressed then it certainly poses an interesting question. Considering the aim of pussy pumping is to promote the appearance of the labia, increase sensation and sensitivity -is Labiaplasty surgery really necessary, or is it just another example of human vanity?